Ace Your Next Date? Ask Hal!

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Looking for a love match? Many boomers and seniors are— as witnessed by the dozens of attendees . . . men and women alike . . . at the Delray Tennis Center who visited the Boomer Times tent to lob a few questions at Hal Spielman, the co-author of Suddenly Solo: A Lifestyle Road Map for the Mature Widowed or Divorced Man. Spielman, who has a popular, “Ask Hal” column on his website, www.SuddenlySolo.org, lives in Lake Worth and recently started his South Florida book promotion in Delray. While the author has geared the topics towards mature divorced and widowed men, he finds his book is getting just as much interest from women. “With women outnumbering men about 4 to 1 after age 65, I see that they are looking at the book for insights into what men really want,” said Spielman. “And to their delight, the stereotypical young blonde is not the answer.”

Men are looking for women who they can share experiences with, and be friends with says Spielman. Thirty-six percent want a woman to look, “ her age,” and 37% of men want their woman to look “his” age. The preferred hair color? Brunette. So how does Hal know all this? Well, that is an interesting story. When Spielman lost his wife of 32 years he was at a loss in many ways—from household chores, to when to start socializing, and the biggie – what about sex again?! Unsure of the correct path and realizing that many mature men who become widowed or divorced seem to similarly flounder, he decided to find out answers from those who were actually surviving and thriving. Spielman, who is the founder of the renowned marketing research company, McCollum Spielman, based in New York City, used his extensive knowledge of data gathering techniques and analysis to conduct his own research. He began with a series of“depth” interviews where he spoke one-on-one with men and women, 55 and over who had survived being Suddenly Solo. From these sessions, he developed a series of studies (surveys, eye tracking, content analysis) that culminated in interviews with over 1000 men and over 600 women from across the country who met the same criteria. The information he got back was frank, forthright and myth-busting! “The survey gave me great insights into the feelings of loss that men feel when faced with widowhood and divorce, and pointed out what I call media myths.” said Spielman. “Moreover, women seem to cope better because they have strong ties with friends and are more social on their own. Often times for men, their woman was the major coordinator of their coupled social life.” Spielman feels the key is taking time to heal and then getting back out there. This message is strongly reinforced by Bill Novelli, the former CEO of AARP who wrote both the forward and afterward for the book. “Look at all the great things to do right here in Delray’s East Atlantic Avenue and Pineapple Grove,” he said. “The most important lesson I learned – and this applies to both Suddenly Solo men and women – is that there is still a life out there to be lived and enjoyed. And while it may take a little effort, you can and will find people to share it with again. So, get off your ass and DO IT!” To learn more about the book, which is written with a light hand (available on Amazon) or to ask Hal a question, go to www.suddenlysolo.org